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3 steps to take if you were left out of a will

If you just found out you are no longer in a will, you probably feel crushed and devastated. Unfortunately, sometimes wills can have surprising contents. If you are facing unexpected exclusion from an inheritance, you may be wondering what you can do. 

In this situation, there are a few things you can do to understand what happened and determine if you can challenge the will. Read on for a guide to dealing with being cheated out of your inheritance. 

1. Find out if you can contest the will

According to Consumer Reports, you must be an interested party in order to file a will contest. If you are a relative and would have gotten an inheritance by law if the person had passed away without a will, then you are an interested party. But you do not necessarily need to be family to contest the will. If a previous will included you but the person took you out later, the courts consider you an interested party. 

2. Request copies 

Ask the executor of the estate for all versions of the will, including the most current and any previous ones. Look for changes. If you notice a reduction or removal of your inheritance in a later will, you may suspect that the decedent was under pressure from someone to disinherit you. 

3. Get legal help and file a contest

If you determine that it is worth challenging the validity of the will, you will want to get help from an estate law attorney. Your attorney will be able to let you know whether you have a potentially winning case. Then, if you have grounds, you will be able to file a contest to invalidate the will and enforce a previous one that includes you as a beneficiary. 

Challenging a will is often an uphill battle, but it is possible. Follow these tips to find out if you want to pursue this route. 

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